The publisher of the Santa Clarita Signal newspaper has been acquired by Paladin Multi-Media Group Inc., an investment firm based in Southern California. Terms of the deal for Paladin to acquire the assets of Newhall Newspapers Inc. and Signal Multimedia from Morris Multimedia Inc., in Savannah, Ga., were not disclosed. Paladin assumes operations of the Signal and its affiliated website on Jan. 1. Charles Champion, managing partner at Paladin, will become president and publisher of the Signal running day-to-day operations. He replaces Russell Briley who will remain as a shareholder and serve as executive vice president of community relations and audience development. “We need to be the area’s first resource for news and commerce,” Champion said in a statement. “That means we have to be insightful reporters as well as community advocates. Russ and his team have already established those qualities so we have many positives to build on.” Gary Sproule, a partner in Paladin, will become chief operating officer of the newspaper after the transaction closes. Champion started his newspaper career with the Valley News and Greensheet/Daily News, and later served in executive positions with the Orange County Register, Chicago Sun-Times and Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Both Champion and Sproule were at online horse wagering firm Youbet Inc., in Woodland Hills, where Champion had been chief executive and Sproule chief operating officer. Youbet was later sold to Churchill Downs Inc.